Hyundai Elantra GLS 2002....Fuel? Clutch? Electric? (Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?)

Oh my god, does anyone out there have some suggestions for my Hyundai Elantra 2002 GLS (manual). I’ve been working on this issue for 3+ months, have spent $1500+ and visited 3 mechanics. NO ONE seems to know what’s going on. Anyone out there have any insight?

Issue as it has evolved:
Jan: Car wouldn’t start for about 2-3 days (battery is newer). Turns over, just doesn’t catch. Put in some HEET, and it started up 15 mins later.
Mid Jan: Same start/non-start issue, but would usually start after a few tries. The not starting would sometimes happen immediately after getting a full tank of gas.
Feb: Same start/non-start issue, and started getting jumpy/puttering while idling. Died a few times at low speeds, almost as if it stalled out. Usually happened at a light or while driving between 2nd/3rd gear.
Mid-Feb: Took it in thinking it’s a fuel pump issue. Was told it’s a clutch. Got 2nd opinion. 2 mechanics agreed, clutch not fuel pump/filter. So I got a new clutch. Feels a little better, but not great. I’m not convinced the prob is solved but not sure of what else to do.
Late Feb: Happens again, car won’t start. Still turning over, but not catching. Put in more HEET, but doesn’t work this time. Get it towed to mechanic’s place. As soon as it comes down off the tow truck, it starts.
Early March: Told for the 3rd time that it’s probably not pump/filter issue. Get tune up. Runs pretty well for about 3-4 weeks.
End March: Head down to FL (from NC where I live) to visit family. 1/2 way down, get a full tank of gas, and car won’t start again. About 10 mins later, it started and we made it to FL. Next day, I call a mechanic in FL to try to bring it over, but car won’t start. We bang on the gas tank a few times and it starts. We get it to the mechanic, and they say it sounds like the fuel pump, but of course it keeps starting for them. So they hook it up to test it a bit–12volts going in and 8 volts going out. Based on my stories and voltage, they think it’s fuel pump assembly. They replace it w/ a factory pump (since apparently Hyundai needs that–the 1st 2 wouldn’t work).
Yesterday: We’re driving back from FL about 4 hours into the drive. At 60-65mph, I’m pressing on the gas and it’s not accelerating anymore. We start to slow down, gas won’t go. I shift gears a bit and it goes again. This happens 2 more times in the next 3 hours. Until this drive, this has never happened before, at least not at this speed. The engine was not revving when I pushed on the gas.
Today: Same thing that happened yesterday happens today on my way to work (3 miles from home) at a speed of about 25-30mph. Made it to work.

Now: I’m baffled, broke and desperate for answers. ANYONE?

Are you getting a check engine light? Has anyone checked for a pending code? Has anyone checked the fuel pressure in the fuel rail?

Did they change the fuel filter and/or “vacuum” out the bottom of the tank when they replaced the fuel pump?

No check engine light, and not sure about the codes. I know this is a silly question, but wouldn’t after all this, they check the fuel pressure in the rail? Or is that just me? They changed the “fuel assembly,” w/ factory part and said they cleaned the filter, but didn’t say they replaced it. I didn’t ask whether they “vacuumed” but they did say they cleaned the line. Does this help at all?

Check Fuel and air filters. Check for blockages in the air intake / filter assembly. Does it have a HOT / COLD setting on the air intake?

OK in the diagnostic section of the record they said “install scanner and read codes,” so I’m assuming they looked. And the filter was replaced.

Tuppy, not sure about a Hot/Cold setting… any chance you know how to tell? I’ll check the air filter, but assumed it was part of the tune up–they replaced plugs, etc and I would have assumed air filter was done at that point. Oh, and above when I said the filter was replaced–I meant the fuel filter…I suppose I can go under the hood and figure out whether the air filter was as well.
I don’t want to open a whole new can of (probably very expensive) worms, but I’m wondering about sensors/electrics…mostly because the probs are so intermittent. I’ve been hesitant to go there in my mind because it all still seems SO fuel related… But just throwing it out. THanks.

I did some research on hyundai forum and the fact that it happens after she fills up tanks seems to lead to a charcoal purge valve issue shutting down fuel pump. Which also causes idle issues and stalling as well as hard starts. Hope this helps. Still not sure how the clutch is related to any of this

Thanks Guru. Another friend I spoke with this morning said the same thing or similar–that the fuel purge valve is either not working or getting stuck, which floods the motor rather than vent through charcoal canister in back… I’m hoping to get it out to someone today and going to have them look at it. Any wishes for luck is appreciated! If/when this gets figured out, I"ll be sure to post!